Procedure for recording Third Option “Still” EP

Basic Setup:
  • Initial Recording Format: 8 Track Darwin Harddisk
  • Mix Destination Format: DAT
  • Final Format: CD Master and Duplicated CD’s
  • Mixer: Mackie 12 Channel VLZ
  • Outboard Processing: Art SGE Mach II Efx Processor
  • Synths: Alesis S4, Yamaha TG100, Boss DR660
  • Mics: AKG D1000E
  • Mastering: TC Electronics Finalizer
  • Tracking: Most instrument tracks were tracked to Darwin through an Art tube-preamp.
  • Mixing: Still was done like Frosted Mini Wheats. If seperated, it would’ve been something like a 24 track mixdown. But I only had the 8 tracks of Darwin to work with. So I ping-ponged, trying to stay very careful along the way. The singing vocals were double and tripled up (there were four of Tamara and two of Aaron), and then a stereo mix was created of those tracks. The drums were made another stereo pair, and basses and synths made up other pairs, etc.Kick/snare/hats etc. were seperated, mixed on the Mackie, and run through the Art tube. The Art tube has only one channel so they would be transferred in sync one channel at a time. Interestingly, when you do this, it spreads the stereo spectrum out a bit. It’s a great effect, but sometimes it’s not good for things that you might rather feel very dead center (like kicks or bass or even vocals). I could listen to synth tracks “live” (played back by the sequencer) while mixing a couple of basses, for example, to make sure that in the context of the whole, things were coming out ok. Some pairs were mixed digitally inside Darwin to make room for this method.

    Each remix was either a slight rearrange in the sequence and retrack and remix (maybe keeping audio tracks like drums from the main mix, always reusing vocals from the original tracks), or in the case of the Murphurd’s Slow and Unrequited Love Mix, it was a matter of taking the main mix and slowing it way down to a quarter of its original speed, and then laying drums from the Phase Motion mix on top of it. Since it was half of half the speed, they sync’d up beautifully. Then I layered back in a Tamara vocal track and retracked a vocal myself. This was the one remix that was a full blown audio remix, as opposed to a rearrange and start over. It had no newly recorded tracks. What was screwy about slowing it down is that Darwin has no DSP features. What I did was hold the jog wheel in one spot for over 20 minutes and dub the slow output to a DAT, then back to Darwin, sliding it into place so it would be in sync. Darwin also doesn’t show a wave, so that was a matter of listening, placing a marker in hopefully exactly the right spot, doing math, and doing a move function, and then moving it a frame, or a half a frame, or a 1000th of a frame at a time until it felt like it sounded right. You can’t just slide around in Darwin, you have to push “action”, “move” and tell it how far and in which direction to move.


  • Mastering/Editing: Mixes were transferred digitally through the Finalizer, back to Darwin, and eventually dubbed to tape. The Finalizer was borrowed; this and Frosted Mini Wheats was the first mixing/editing/mastering for release done in the NQuit studio.
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